CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas. March 6, 2017 – In celebration of National Reading Month, CITGO partnered with mobile literacy program Bess the Book Bus to give out free books to hundreds of Corpus Christi children this February. As part of the program's ongoing tour across the country, Bess the Book Bus and founder Jennifer Frances made three stops at Corpus Christi-area schools, and CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery employees were on hand to help give pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students one of their first tastes of the fun of reading.

"At CITGO, ensuring students at all levels have the educational tools they need is important to us, and our Corpus Christi Refinery's nine-year relationship with Bess the Book Bus is a great example of how we can help get the youngest members of our community off to a good start," said Art Klein, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery. "This year, we hope to distribute more than 1,000 books to students throughout the Corpus Christi area."

Bess the Book Bus visited students at Oak Park Special Emphasis School, Evans Elementary School and Gibson Elementary School at the end of February. In addition to Bess the Book Bus' stops in Corpus Christi, CITGO will be helping to celebrate National Reading Month in many areas across the country. Representatives from CITGO are planning to visit more than 50 schools and children's hospitals in the country to read to children and deliver more than 18,000 books from Bess the Book Bus.

Jennifer Frances founded Bess the Book Bus in 2002 to foster a love for reading among children of all economic backgrounds. "We have given away more than half a million books to children in 48 states - from Bess' home in Florida to California and many states in between. Our partnership with CITGO has been instrumental in helping us reach so many children, and we hope to open the world of reading to many more this year," said Frances.

CITGO supports several educational initiatives to share a wide range of educational opportunities with Corpus Christi students. The CITGO Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science at Moody High School, for one, is one of the country's highest-ranked schools for STEM courses, preparing students to be the next generation of STEM leaders thanks to the access it provides to real-world educational experiences like field trips and academic competitions.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit